Unchained Blades brings JRPG action to 3DS and PSP this year

The Lunar and Grandia series are some of the most beloved amongst hardcore JRPG fans. XSEED's new RPG, Unchained Blades, demands attention--if only because of the pedigree of the creators involved. Originally released in Japan as UnchainBlades ReXX, this dungeon-crawler was directed by Lunar's Toshio Akashi, with a story written by Grandia's Takashi Hino. While the game may be part of a niche genre, publisher XSEED will be bringing a localized version Stateside by distributing the game digitally, via the PlayStation Network on PSP and Vita, and the 3DS eShop.


"Unchained Blades represents a collaboration between some of Japan’s most high-profile developers and artists, offering a unique blend of classic RPG gameplay paired with an eclectic mix of art styles," XSEED's director of publishing Ken Berry said in the announcement. And it's true. Every character in the game was created by a different artist, from Shining Force's Pako to Lunar's Toshiyuki Kubooka, and more.

The game follows the story of an arrogant dragon emperor, Fang, who tries to restore his powers in a journey for revenge. Players will travel through dungeons in a classic first-person perspective, collecting monsters along the way. New for the US release are include English voiceovers.

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So which version should you pick up? The 3DS or PSP version? According to Siliconera, both are nearly identical. "On PSP you can toggle a map overlay to show up on the center of the screen or as a mini-map. The Nintendo 3DS version has the map on the bottom screen. Otherwise the two releases are the same."